Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Report Card: Steelers 13, Browns 9

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Report Card: Steelers 13, Browns 9

Article excerpt


It is difficult to tell if Ben Roethlisberger is struggling because of his injured left ankle or because he has just been inefficient. He has produced just two touchdowns in 10 quarters -- only one against the Browns -- since his ankle was injured Dec. 8. But, on a windy day, he managed to pass for 221 yards and, more important, avoid an interception. He also made a big pass to Antonio Brown to set up a field goal near the end of the half.


Two big fumbles by Isaac Redman in the fourth quarter soiled what was a good performance after replacing injured Rashard Mendenhall. Redman finished with 92 yards on 19 carries and scored on a 7-yard run, but each of his fumbles occurred in opposing territory and allowed the Browns to hang in the game. Mendenhall had 38 yards on eight carries before his right knee was injured at the end of the first quarter.


Antonio Brown led the way with six catches for 90 yards, none bigger than his 40-yarder to set up a field goal at the end of the first half. But the day belonged to Hines Ward, who had five catches to reach 1,000 in his career. Mike Wallace was targeted five times but managed just one catch for 11 yards -- not the kind of production expected from the team's No. 1 receiver.


The Steelers rushed for 161 yards -- their fourth-highest total of the season -- and averaged 4.5 yards per attempt. And all the yards were split among three backs. Granted, the Browns had the 30th- ranked rush defense in the league, but at least the Steelers exploited the advantage, much like they did last week against the St. Louis Rams. A shout-out to TE Heath Miller for a big block on Redman's TD run.


The Browns rushed for 72 yards, the lowest by an opponent in seven games, but QB Seneca Wallace's scrambles of 27 and 20 yards each resulted in a field goal. Peyton Hillis, who had 211 yards in his past two games, was held to 30 yards on 10 carries. …

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